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Blanche Baughan Biography

(1870–1958), Verses, Reuben and Other Poems, Shingle-Short and Other Verses

zealand verses england landscape

New Zealand poet, born in England; despite parental opposition she attended London University. She then became involved with women's suffrage and worked amongst the poor in London's East End before settling in New Zealand in 1900. Her first works, Verses (1898) and Reuben and Other Poems (1903), were published in England but subsequent works in New Zealand, the first of which, Shingle-Short and Other Verses (1908), is a long verse monologue written in New Zealand idiom. She is particularly noted for her concern for ordinary lives amidst the exotic landscape, and her much anthologized ‘Bush Section’ is valued for the energy and verve of its long Whitmanesque lines which vividly describe the deforested landscape. Brown Bread from a Colonial Oven (1912) is a series of vivid prose portraits of colonial life, while Poems from the Port Hills, Christchurch (1923) captures life as it was in the early days of settlement. Baughan subsequently concentrated on travel writing and her work as a prison reformer.

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